Not My Mother's Sister: Generational Conflict and Third-Wave by Astrid Henry

By Astrid Henry

"No subject how clever a mother's recommendation is, we hearken to our peers." no less than that is author Naomi Wolf's tackle the diversities among her iteration of feminists -- the 3rd wave -- and the feminists who got here prior to her and constructed within the past due '60s and '70s -- the second one wave. In now not My Mother's Sister, Astrid Henry is of the same opinion with Wolf that this has been the case with American feminism, yet says there are difficulties inherent in drawing generational lines.Henry starts off by way of studying texts written through ladies within the moment wave, and illustrates how that iteration pointed out with, but additionally disassociated itself from, its feminist "foremothers." more youthful feminists now declare the move as their very own through distancing themselves from the earlier. by way of targeting feminism's debates approximately sexuality, they may be able to reject the so-called sufferer feminism of Catherine MacKinnon and Andrea Dworkin. Rejecting the orthodoxies of the second one wave, more youthful feminists have fun a woman's correct to excitement. Henry asserts, despite the fact that, that by means of ignoring assorted older voices, the hot new release has oversimplified generational clash and has underestimated the contributions of previous feminists to women's rights. they've got serious about concerns in terms of own id on the rate of collective political action.Just as writers like Wolf, Katie Roiphe, and Rene Denfeld have fun a "new" feminist (hetero)sexuality posited in generational phrases, queer and lesbian feminists of the 3rd wave equally distance themselves from those that got here prior to. Henry indicates how Nineteen Seventies lesbian feminism is represented in ways in which are remarkably just like the puritanical portrait of feminism provided via instantly third-wavers. She concludes by means of reading the crucial position performed by way of feminists of colour within the improvement of third-wave feminism. certainly, the time period "third wave" itself used to be coined through Rebecca Walker, daughter of Alice Walker. now not My Mother's Sister is a crucial contribution to the alternate of principles between feminists of every age and persuasions.

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This rejection, then, serves as proof of the failure of feminism. On the other hand, the prefi x “post” points to a time after feminism—in other words, a time when feminism is no longer needed precisely because its goals have been achieved. Thus, “post-feminism” would also seem to signify the success of feminism. Paradoxically, then, the term signals both failure and success, both an anti-feminist critique of the misguidedness of feminism and a pro-feminist nod to feminism’s victories. In what might well be the first documented use of the term, a women’s literary group described themselves as “post-feminist” in 1919.

When one compares Steinem’s “unmitigated and joyful freedom” with the depressing sense of confinement and curbed indepen- 40 Daughterhood Is Powerful dence found in some third-wave texts, it is clear that there has been a definite generational shift in the way that women experience feminism.

The first text to apply the term “post-feminist” to 18 Daughterhood Is Powerful both the 1980s and the generation of women who came of age during the late 1970s and early 1980s is Susan Bolotin’s “Views from the Postfeminist Generation,” published in the New York Times Magazine in 1982. ⁹ The term “post-feminism” warrants glossing. ¹⁰ This rejection, then, serves as proof of the failure of feminism. On the other hand, the prefi x “post” points to a time after feminism—in other words, a time when feminism is no longer needed precisely because its goals have been achieved.

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